The first of three individuals charged in connection to a rash of rural burglaries that spanned northern Langlade and southern Oneida counties in January 2019 will be headed to state prison for at least 30 months.
Valerie L. Deangelis, 41, Wausau, learned her sentences on five felony convictions in Langlade County Court last week.
On Jan. 24, Deangelis entered no contest pleas to four counts of burglary as a party to a crime and one count of methamphetamine possession as a party to a crime. Eighteen charges were dismissed but read into the record, including multiple further counts of burglary, criminal damage to property, and property theft, all as a party to a crime.
It was nearly one year to the day of legal wrangling since Deangelis made her initial court appearance in the case on Jan. 23, 2019. She has been in custody since that date after being ordered to a $5,000 cash bond.
On the meth conviction, Deangelis was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison, divided into 18 months of initial confinement and two years of extended supervision. For each of the four burglary convictions, she was ordered to 30 months of initial confinement and four years of extended supervision.
The court ordered all of those sentences to run concurrently and granted Deangelis 448 days of credit toward time served. She also must pay court costs and $4,014 in restitution to three different victims. The defense has 60 days to challenge that amount in a restitution hearing.
The original Langlade County criminal complaint featured 10 charges. The 23-count complaint addressed on Jan. 24 resulted from the consolidation of Oneida County charges into the Langlade County case. As is common with a serious felony plea agreement, the court ordered a pre-sentence investigation be completed. That report was the basis for the argued sentencing hearing on Thursday.
Langlade County District Attorney Elizabeth Gebert argued for a slightly lengthier prison term, based on that report.
“I recommended three years initial confinement because it was the higher end of what the Department of Corrections recommended in the pre-sentence investigation,” Gebert said. “Burglaries motivated by drug addiction are among the most serious crimes I prosecute in Langlade County. They harm the victim and our communities as a whole, as we all grow concerned about the security of our properties.”
The case began to unfold when a deputy investigated a burglary report at a town of Elcho cabin on Jan. 13, 2019. Footage from a game camera showed that two individuals had taken numerous items out of the cabin, while a third individual moved a vehicle.
A physical description of the vehicle was obtained, and a list of items taken in that incident included three firearms, numerous tools, electronics, and jewelry. That first report would prove to be no isolated incident, as a series of similar burglaries were soon discovered.
On Jan. 18, 2019, a report of a suspicious vehicle in the town of Elcho led to a traffic stop of a vehicle containing Deangelis and the other two suspects, Jason Behm and Andrew Schroeder. A “plethora” of suspected stolen property and items commonly used in the commission of burglaries was found in the vehicle, as well as meth and drug paraphernalia.
The ensuing investigation turned up stolen items pawned at Wausau Pawnamerica, and evidence including tire tracks and footprints at various burglarized locations.
The cases against Behm and Schroeder remain pending. Both men are serving prison sentences on previous convictions. Schroeder is scheduled for a plea hearing in Langlade County Court on June 12. Behm is scheduled for a final pre-trial appearance on June 29.